The city of Graz, as a UNESCO City of Design and the 2003 European Capital of Culture, was a perfect setting for my research project supported by the Manfred-Heindler grant and conducted at the IAS-STS.
The sophisticated mixture of historical urban tissue, eye-catching contemporary buildings, beautiful parks and vibrant life is always stimulating for an architect and I really enjoyed its numerous possibilities, vistas and hidden surprises. The openness of the city, its artistic flair, creative energy and innovative potential are also reflected in the IAS-STS, shaping a great research environment. The spacious offices with excellent technological infrastructure, the multidisciplinary treasure of its library, as well as the supportive institute staff definitely provide a unique atmosphere of networking and knowledge exchange.
Visiting fellows from all over the world represent an additional element of excellence. Their different scientific and cultural backgrounds, interests and expertise generate fruitful discussions and upgrade intellectual interaction and cooperation. During our regular seminars and official and unofficial meetings, we were able to shift our disciplinary focuses changing and overlapping discourses and scales of our research topics and professional interests. Therefore, it was a privilege to be a part of this academic community, in which people do not compete, but complement each other.
The exceptional quality of the programs and projects organized by the IAS-STS is definitely a magnet, attracting numerous scholars to Graz, but after few days in this outstanding cluster of interdisciplinary harmony, each one of them becomes aware that it is not just a mere visit, but one of many happy returns.
Aleksandra Stupar, Serbia, IAS-STS Research Fellow 2010/2011